Family Of 11-year-old Sues Over Girl's Arrest
POSTED: 3:19 p.m. PDT April 22, 2003

TACOMA -- The family of an 11-year-old girl is suing Pierce County for arresting her as a material witness.

Lawyers for the family of Cierra Hull says prosecutors went too far in having the girl arrested in 1998 at her elementary school, holding her over a weekend in juvenile detention and bringing her to court in chains.

The girl had done nothing wrong. Her testimony was needed in the prosecution of Guy Rasmussen. He was convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering nine-year-old Cindy Allinger. Hull had seen Allinger with Rasmussen the day she disappeared in 1996.

Prosecutors Barbara Corey-Boulet and Lisa Wagner say Hull was vital to the case but failed to show for a required interview. They were afraid her grandmother planned to move the girl out of the state.

They asked a judge yesterday to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge is expected to rule by the end of the week.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.